It was about 1924. She had retired from films, as far as I know. She came alone. I was surprised to see her. She came up to me. She took one look at me and said :
“Ohh my goodness, what is wrong?” I assured her that nothing was wrong. I lied. Everything was wrong.
“Mr. Mert, something is wrong, and I shall know why?” I didn’t say anything.
“Mert, have you ever had problems with marriage or life?” She asked. I was not married at the time. I said ‘no’ to the marriage part, but ‘yes’ to the life part.
“I am not sure what to do about Harold? He persuaded me to retire and I have my whole life ahead of me,” She said. I stood up (I was sitting down behind the reference desk) and I took her hand.
“Mildred, come with me,” I said. I lead her to a table. I told her to sit. She sat. She looked like she was about to cry. I took her hand in mine.
“Your heart is too full to worry,” I said.
She looked up at me.
Then, she said something I’ll never forget.
“You will be loved by thousands. You are rare, Mr. Mert. You will take women who are tattered and torn and put them back together.” She then hugged me. Hugging Mildred Davis was like hugging a warm blanket. She was so warm. If you’ve ever seen a picture or motion picture now-a-days, you will see when something special hugs another, you get that ‘spark’ or that ‘special effect’. I felt like her heart was melting into mine. It was a long and beautiful hug. She taught me to ‘take someone as they are’. She also taught me that the damaged people, are the kindest, and believe me, you couldn’t see it, but she was damaged. It took me to fix her”